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Conneaut Lake Park (CLP) Discussion Thread


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http://www.meadvilletribune.com/news/bankruptcy-court-approves-conneaut-lake-park-s-bankruptcy-plan/article_7402876a-744a-11e6-b713-e78fda4398d8.html

 

The financial reorganization plan for Conneaut Lake Park has been confirmed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Western Pennsylvania.

 

The Chapter 11 reorganization plan filed by Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park was confirmed this morning by Chief U.S Bankruptcy Judge Jeffery Deller following a more than one hour hearing in U.S. District Court.

 

The plan, which was given conditional approval earlier this summer by Deller, was subject to an approval vote by the amusement park’s creditors.

 

The majority of the park’s creditors — including its real estate tax creditors of Conneaut School District, Crawford County and Summit and Sadsbury Townships — voted in favor of the plan.

 

Among the plans components are the continued sale of non-essential land to repay more than $1.3 million in back property taxes and continued capital improvements at the park to increase revenue.

 

TL;DR version - Conneaut's got a fighting shot for long term sustainability now.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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The water park has been a big saving grace this season and they've even improved to the point of having operational profitability..

 

The facts have said that the park has lost money for every month since filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The jury is out on July and August, and the warm weather probably has been a huge help. But even with a possible small profit to be made in July and August, is that enough to offset losses every other month of the year? I personally do not think a periodic $5 wristband day along with a weekend only operating schedule will get enough people through the doors to make up for 10 months of significant losses.

I'm aware of that and the point is, they have had a significant increase in attendance and operational profitability has gone in the green for the first time in a long long time. That doesn't mean they are making money bottom line, but there is a lot more that needs to happen before they reach that. The point is, it is a great step in the right direction, and now the court has agreed their plan is realistic and they have approved that plan.

 

The water park likely doubles their ticket sales, as the water park seems to be at least as popular as the entire dry park, and many people are paying for both. The water park is proving more profitable than the entire dry park at the moment. Hopefully they can expand upon that.

 

They are working on expanding Camperland and adding an indoor entertainment complex, both of which will increase year round profitability.

 

They are pushing for tax exemptions in the places that need it most, and their excess land sales will help cut down on taxes as well as bring in money they can use to pay back taxes and invest into the park.

 

 

There is a ton to do but now that they have approval from the court to do so, with time the park can be successful and it still deserves to be saved just because of historic value and free public amenities in my opinion at least. Crossing my fingers.

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This really does sound great! They posted, reporting that operations are up 29%. I mean, if you don't think the park has the potential in its current state, fair. But I don't know who would wish death upon a park. If it can be prosperous and make some solid improvements, I am all for it.

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Why any enthusiast would wish for the demise of a park is beyond me. Yeah let's scrap the nice grounds, rare flat rides, historic hotel, all the trees, free beach and lawn, and classic woodie and leave the property barren and abandoned.

 

First of all the grounds aren't nice. Second of all, Blue Streak sucks. Third of all the park is a dump and if it were "barren and abandoned" then it would be pretty difficult to tell the difference anyway as opposed to now.

 

I was going for a laugh, I'm not exactly wishing death on the park (though I wouldn't care at all if it closed because it's awful) but I'm tired of enthusiasts getting so unbelievably offended when you call the park out for what it is (a complete train wreck). The fact that we're impressed about the fact that they finally put chlorine in the water slide pool is a testament to what a joke this park is. I've honestly been waiting for this park to die ever since the Pepsi Refresh thing which was kind of a joke since the other finalists consisted of mostly children's / animal welfare charities but enthusiasts banded together and voted to instead give the $50k to Conneaut Lake Park (a park that will probably never be profitable) to fix up a terrible coaster. And then when the coaster re-opened so few people actually cared that they couldn't even fill a train and about 8-12 people showed up.

 

So if you like the park then that's great, and while I was going for a laugh and I'm not really "hoping" it closes, I won't care at all when it does.

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I don't know if Blue Streak deteriorated over the past few years, but I enjoyed my rides on it. The second half was boring, but the first three drops provides nice pops of air including intense air from the back row on the first drop. When riding, it was the first time in years I pulled my hands down and reached for the bar.

 

Parts of the park certainly need continued help being restored but recent pictures I've seen are a huge improvement from 7-8 years ago. Unless you were there ten years ago it is hard to see the improvements, since progress on ongoing and the park doesn't have wads of money to work in those areas. With a limited ride line-up they need to upkeep the rides first. The park isn't going to make money on people just walking around the grounds they need ride revenue.

Edited by larrygator
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I wish that there was a way that the park would create more revenue from Ghost Lake.

 

I would say that's probably the best thing that CLP has going for it because the park is already pretty creepy to begin with. I would actually rank it up there as one of the better haunts despite not sinking tons of money into it like most parks do. Walking through creepy abandoned houses and then ending up with a crazy night ride on Blue Streak (in the snow, no less) was actually pretty awesome!

 

And lets not forget the crazy clowns chasing people around with what appeared to be real chainsaws!

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My visit to Conneaut a couple weeks ago solidified Blue Streak as my #2 coaster. Even with only a 3 car train, it's running better than last year. (I then spent a couple days at Cedar Point, and although a bushel of fun, nothing there comes close to the fun and uniqueness of the Conneaut Blue Streak). The work they did on the first drop really shows; I heard the work will continue.

 

I also checked out the (2?!) adult water slides. I had the notion that these might kick some serious bootay due to them being so old. Boy, was I right! Excellent fun. Ride laying down or sitting up, whatever works for ya! Did each one about 7 times. It's nice to see the park looking better than the last couple years, and I'm hopeful it will continue to do and look better. I could really see it like a mini Knoebels.

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  • 5 weeks later...
Why any enthusiast would wish for the demise of a park is beyond me. Yeah let's scrap the nice grounds, rare flat rides, historic hotel, all the trees, free beach and lawn, and classic woodie and leave the property barren and abandoned.

 

First of all the grounds aren't nice. Second of all, Blue Streak sucks. Third of all the park is a dump and if it were "barren and abandoned" then it would be pretty difficult to tell the difference anyway as opposed to now.

 

I was going for a laugh, I'm not exactly wishing death on the park (though I wouldn't care at all if it closed because it's awful) but I'm tired of enthusiasts getting so unbelievably offended when you call the park out for what it is (a complete train wreck). The fact that we're impressed about the fact that they finally put chlorine in the water slide pool is a testament to what a joke this park is. I've honestly been waiting for this park to die ever since the Pepsi Refresh thing which was kind of a joke since the other finalists consisted of mostly children's / animal welfare charities but enthusiasts banded together and voted to instead give the $50k to Conneaut Lake Park (a park that will probably never be profitable) to fix up a terrible coaster. And then when the coaster re-opened so few people actually cared that they couldn't even fill a train and about 8-12 people showed up.

 

So if you like the park then that's great, and while I was going for a laugh and I'm not really "hoping" it closes, I won't care at all when it does.

I'm fine with you having an exceptionally negative opinion on this park compared to most people, but I still don't understand why anyone would wish death on a park that has a rich history, classic unique rides, a nice property (even if it needs more work to look nice), and people who are very passionate about saving, maintaining, and running the park that are working very hard to do so.

 

Anyways, to each their own, and I'm sorry you had such a negative experience. Blue Streak is still probably in my top 10 or at least top 20 wooden coaster list (and there are a lot of great coasters in that list) and I still love this park and stand by my opinion.

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My visit to Conneaut a couple weeks ago solidified Blue Streak as my #2 coaster. Even with only a 3 car train, it's running better than last year. (I then spent a couple days at Cedar Point, and although a bushel of fun, nothing there comes close to the fun and uniqueness of the Conneaut Blue Streak). The work they did on the first drop really shows; I heard the work will continue.

 

I also checked out the (2?!) adult water slides. I had the notion that these might kick some serious bootay due to them being so old. Boy, was I right! Excellent fun. Ride laying down or sitting up, whatever works for ya! Did each one about 7 times. It's nice to see the park looking better than the last couple years, and I'm hopeful it will continue to do and look better. I could really see it like a mini Knoebels.

I was hoping to be in the area to try the water slides out but I was never in western PA this summer. Glad you had fun and that the slides are intense!

 

I will be at the park this weekend for Pumpkin Fest and Ghost Lake (also doing the Cedar Point and CLP thing). The last time I went for this event they had all 4 cars on the train and the back car was providing insane ejector air, so I hope they have the full four car train running again this time!

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Through Oct. 16 this year, Conneaut Lake Park's total revenue is $712,841.30 — that includes sale of park wristbands for rides and water park; gift shop and concessions revenue; games and miniature golf revenue; and revenue from Camperland, the park's campground.

 

 

 

That's $189,66.34 or 27 percent more than what the park's total revenue was through the same period in 2015.

 

Operating Conneaut Lake Park cost about $30,000 per weekend to operate, Turner said.

 

In the 15 weekends the park operated between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the park had four weekends where its gross revenues didn't top $30,000 — the estimated break even point, according to a financial report on the park's gross revenues. On the four weekends when gross revenue didn't hit $30,000, the park still earned about $26,000 on three of them, figures showed.

 

Interesting analysis. Park apparently "made" money by beating expenses on 11 of 14 weekends during the summer, but they wouldn't actually admit a profit in the article. Either way, I'd imagine we'll see the park again in 2017.

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Went to the park for Pumpkin Fest and Ghost Lake this past weekend. It was an absolute blast!

 

Blue Streak now has some decent airtime on the return stretch, and the first three hills have ejector air in the back as usual. Rode well except for one very aggressive pothole going into the second hill. You can see they added new additional support to that section which is probably holding it together safely but making it more rough. Very similar to the big jolt/pothole on Boulder Dash's triple up from hell.

 

Ghost Lake was absolutely AMAZING. I was at Busch Gardens Tampa for Hawl-o-Scream the weekend before and thought it was great, but Ghost Lake was significantly better. By far the best haunt I've experienced. I love that they let each group in separately so no one was around you, and being in an actual haunted hotel, hundred year old 3 story abandoned homes, etc. is simply amazing. The actors are very aggressive and hands on, and there are a lot of fake-out distractions in place so the scare actors can really catch you off guard. I had one chase me out of the house down a steep old flight of stairs, and I definitely fell a few times. It's awesome a haunt like this can exist without lawsuits ruining the authenticity of it. GREAT event.

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^I've heard Ghost Lake is the bomb! Non-corporate stuff is always better. The Elysburg Haunted House (2 miles down the road from Knoebels) is outstanding! We don't have anything half as good here in Chicagoland for 5 times the price. I Haven't been to Conneaut's Ghost Lake yet, but plan to next year.

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  • 1 month later...

For anyone in the area interested in old Conneaut Lake signage or bumper cars. Funds from an auction will go towards expanding Camperland

 

http://www.meadvilletribune.com/news/local_news/conneaut-lake-park-auction-hopes-to-generate-funds-for-camperland/article_87dffac8-bdb1-11e6-932c-df659c1ce79d.html

 

Conneaut Lake Park auction hopes to generate funds for Camperland expansion

By Keith Gushard Meadville Tribune

 

CONNEAUT LAKE PARK — Some of Conneaut Lake Park's rich history goes on the auction block Sunday.

 

Everything from vintage Dodgem bumper cars from the 1930s and 1940s to pieces of amusement rides no longer used will be on the block. There also will be signs, baby strollers, hotel furniture and even a huge safe.

 

Proceeds from the auction — set for 1 p.m. Sunday at the amusement park’s Convention Hall — are to help Conneaut Lake Park finance a planned expansion of its Camperland campground, according to Mark Turner, executive director of Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park. Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park is the nonprofit corporation that oversees the amusement park’s operations.

 

"Some of the items are really beyond fixing for us," Turner said. "These are remnants by themselves. There's not enough value for us to rehabilitate them for the cost (it may take), but they might have value as memorabilia to some."

 

Some of the items — like the original art-deco Dodgem cars from the 1930s and 1940s — aren't in bad shape and could fetch thousands if restored, but Trustees don't have the extra money to do so.

 

"We're hoping some of this stuff will sell as a project for someone," Turner said.

 

Turner isn't sure if a large crowd will turn out for the auction — and he's not willing to venture a guess on what the auction may raise.

 

"We think it might go three or four hours, but I've got no idea what it may bring in," Turner said.

 

To reorganize its debts, Conneaut Lake Park filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. District Court for Western Pennsylvania two years ago this month. That financial reorganization plan was certified by the court in September.

 

While Trustees were required to get bankruptcy court approval for the sale of excess waterfront land at the park, it has not had to seek approval for the auction.

 

"We have a bankruptcy plan that's been certified by the court," Turner said, noting the assets at auction were not subject to inquiries by the creditors during formation of the park's final bankruptcy plan.

 

But to emerge from bankruptcy, Conneaut Lake Park needs to grow financially by restoring rides and expanding other revenue-generating operations like Camperland, Turner said.

 

Camperland, located across from Conneaut Lake Park on Route 618, currently has about 100 camping sites for tent camping and campers.

 

Trustees hope to add about 50 camping sites, mainly for large recreational vehicles, on what is now a parking lot for Conneaut Lake Park. The land, located next to Camperland, would be for pull-through camping sites, a convenience allowing an RV or large towed camper to be driven straight through rather than have it back in to the campsite, Turner said.

 

That expansion is expected to cost about $30,000 to $35,000 in materials for water and sewer lines at those new camping sites, Turner said.

 

The permitting process for the additional sewer hookups at Camperland has started with the Conneaut Lake Joint Municipal Authority, which provides sewage treatment for portions of Sadsbury and Summit townships. Turner said Trustees hope to have the sewer permits obtained by the first quarter of 2017.

 

"Any money we get from the auction will go toward (the expansion of) Camperland," Turner said.

 

Since Trustees announced the auction last month, online bidding has started for some of the items through the website auctionzip.com. Bidding can be done either online or in person on Sunday. Simonetta Auction Service of Cochranton is donating its services to conduct the auction, Turner said.

 

"We hope it's a good auction — it should be fun, Turner said.

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  • 1 month later...

Looks like they did OK with the auction. The three '40's Dodgem cars went for $950, $1025, and $1500. Two of the old fixed-restraint (Vettel?) Blue Streak cars went for $1300 and $1400 (honestly this was a steal!). And, amazingly, this torched Century Flyer emblem brought.... $900!

 

Looking quickly through some of the other lots... I'm pretty sure they brought in $10-15k all together.

flyer.jpg.8538a8342cd8516183da04ef5100beaa.jpg

Photo from the auction site linked above

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